October 4, 2004

Canadian vehicle sales down 8.3% in September

Vancouver, British Columbia – Canadian light vehicle sales in September of 127,204 were lower by 8.3% when compared with September of 2003. Year to date, the Canadian vehicle market is down 5.3% to 1,183,414 units.

“I think we can now very safely say that..there is no possibility that sales will recover this year,” said Dennis Desrosiers of Desrosier Automotive Consultants. “Sales are tracking at 1.51 million units this year compared to 1.59 last year. We were the most negative forecasters in the market earlier this year and we were forecasting 1.55 million units, so even we were optimistic.”

Notable decliners in September were General Motors (-14.5%), Ford (-16.7%), Volkswagen (-15.5%), Honda (Acura) (-14.9%), Mitsubishi (-16.2%), Nissan (Infiniti) (-2.5%), and Mercedes-Benz (-5.4%). Even the Chrysler Group, with an array of new models, was down slightly (-0.1%).

Among the winners were Toyota (Lexus) which edged ahead (+0.5%), Hyundai (+5.5%), Kia (+2.3%), Mazda (+1.0%), Subaru (+3.3%), Suzuki (+6.8%), BMW (+16.4%), and Volvo (+16.6%).

Desrosiers blamed September’s lower vehicle sales on high insurance costs, high gas prices, creeping interest rates, incentive “fatigue”, over-buying over the last few years, and “an economy that is much weaker than the politicians want to admit”.

“I don’t sense any of these issues are going to go away so I remain negative in my outlook,” said Derosiers.

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